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Author Topic: Has NASCAR "jumped the shark"?  (Read 502 times)
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« on: January 19, 2005, 05:29:33 PM »

The web site called Jump the Shark is one of the most fascinating sites on the Internet.  On it, users are invited to say when their favorite movies, TV shows, and other pop culture items went downhill.  The site (which I referenced in August 2004 when the Olympics were held) got its name from an ill-fated gimmick on Happy Days, from which ratings went into a permanent tailspin.

I am asking our users to contribute their ideas as to when NASCAR "jumped the shark."  In other words, when did your enthusiasm become disillusionment?  When did you realize that things would never be as good as it was?   Of course, it's possible that you still love NASCAR as much as before.  In that case, say "never jumped."

I'll start with this.  I say NASCAR jumped the shark on Sep. 15, 2003, when Brian France became president and CEO of the organization.  Of course, NASCAR had been on a slow decline, dating back to the death of Dale Earnhardt, and it's tempting to trace the decline of the sanctioning body to Feb. 18, 2001.  But, for the most part, the reaction was positive.  Safety became NASCAR's number one emphasis.

When "Baby Brian" took over the reigns, the pace of decline accelerated incredibly.  Suddenly, no one seemed to know how to boil water, let alone make the right calls on race day.  The sport's fan base is now being treated like disposable razors as France chases the celebrity crowd he's comfortable with (after all, he ran an agency in Hollywood before taking over NASCAR).  All sorts of prices at the track (particularly the ISC tracks) have gone up.  He has chosen to do nothing as Mike Helton and his underlings have made a joke of the racing.  Today's race winners are as likely to win due to aerodynamics and fuel efficiency than talent.

Meanwhile, the TV networks are offering little resistance.  Those that has resisted have paid the price (see Pit Bulls and the demotion of Allen Bestwick).

There.  I've started the proverbial ball rolling.  What do you think?

Buddy Wayne Barefoot, unhappy with Baby Brian's handiwork, finds his true passion.Smiley
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